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Visualizations to Do During the Recitation of Manjushri’s Mantra

From Chinese Buddhist Encyclopedia
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As stated in the Tantra Requested by Subahu, recite the mantras devoid of the eight faults of mantra recitation: reciting too quickly, too slowly, too loudly (so that others hear), too softly (so that even oneself does not hear), over-enunciating each syllable, interrupting the mantra with conversation, being distracted, and reciting the short syllables as long and the long as short.

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You do not need to do each of these visualizations every session.

You can choose which one you would like to do and can do more than one each session, if you wish.


Fundamental Visualization (self-generation only)

At your heart is a horizontal moon disk.

On that is a six-spoked wheel, and at its hub is an upright orange seed syllable dhih.

Just above the wheel’s spokes are the syllables om ah ra pa tsa na, standing clockwise. Light emanates from the dhih and the mantra syllables.

It fills your body and cleanses all negative karmas and obscurations, especially those arising from ignorance.

The darkness of ignorance is completely eliminated and the light of wisdom increases to illuminate all objects of knowledge.


Concluding Visualization

At the conclusion of the mantra recitation, imagine Manjushri’s wisdom body appearing as a dhih lying on your tongue with its head towards the back of your mouth.

From the dhih lightrays emanate in all directions and transforms into offerings—protecting umbrellas, victory banners, jewels, conches, and so forth—that are offered to all the Buddhas and bodhisattvas.

Their blissful omniscient wisdom and realizations manifest as red-yellow dhihs that absorb into the dhih on your tongue. Recite dhih, dhih, dhih…108 times in one breath, if possible.

(An easy way of counting this is to set aside 27 beads and say dhih four times quickly for each bead.) As you say each dhih, think that a duplicate dhih emanates from the dhih on your tongue and dissolves into the dhih at your (Manjushri’s) heart.

After reciting 108 dhihs, silently swallow some saliva and imagine the dhih on your tongue comes down and absorbs into the dhih on the moon disk at your heart, which becomes very brilliant.

Immeasurable red-yellow lightrays radiate from that dhih, filling your entire body and purifying all negative karma, sickness, and hindrances.

Think, “I have received the special qualities of memory which does not forget the words and meanings of the teachings and of knowledge of all things past, present, and future.”

(This visualization is done at the very end of the mantra recitation—no matter which or how many visualizations you did—not at the end of just the fundamental visualization.)

(It’s possible to omit the offering part of the visualization, and think the wisdom of all the Buddhas in the form of red-yellow light absorbs into the dhih on your tongue.)


Cutting Ignorance and Cleansing Impurities (self-generation only)

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On the moon disk at your heart is an upright two-edged wisdom sword.

From the bell at the base of its handle projects a six-spoked wheel of swords. At the top of the handle, in its center, is a dhih.

The syllables om ah ra pa tsa na stand clockwise around it (above the blades of the wheel of swords.)

In the intermediate spaces are six syllables dhih.

In the space inside the gigu (the vowel sign on top of the Tibetan syllable) or in the dot (on top of the i in the Roman syllable) of the central dhih above the handle is a moon disk upon which sit you in your ordinary form surrounded by all mother sentient beings in the form of humans and gods.

As you recite the mantra, the wheel turns clockwise, while the mantra syllables turn counter-clockwise.

To cut the ignorance: From the dhih and mantra syllables lightrays emanate, pervading and purifying yourself and all sentient beings.

All downfalls and the mass of ignorance of yourself and others leave all of you through the pores of your bodies, in the form of masses of black hair.

The hairs fall and are cut into pieces by the sword-spokes.

These pieces fall and are incinerated by the powerful wisdom light radiating from the swords, dhih and mantra syllables, releasing you from the dark shadow of ignorance.

The ashes leave through the lower orifices of Manjushri’s body.


To cleanse all impurities: An infinite number of white goddesses emanate from the dhih and mantra syllables.

They hold peacock feathers and initiation vases filled with blissful wisdom nectar, which they pour into you and all beings through the crowns of your heads.

The nectar washes away everyone’s negativities and ignorance in the form of black smoke and filthy liquid leaving from all the pores of your bodies.

The goddesses then brush the outside of the bodies of yourself and others with peacock feathers to remove any remaining defilements.

Everyone’s bodies and minds become clean clear like crystal, and everyone’s nervous system is completely filled with blissful energy.


Important: Visualizing the wheel spinning can cause loong, so only have it spin once or twice.


To increase wisdom: An infinite number of tiny Manjushris, which are the wisdom of all the Buddhas and bodhisattvas of the ten directions are invited and dissolve into you.

The entire inside and outside of your body become filled with the light of wisdom. Think that your wisdom becomes powerfully able to discriminate the meanings of the teachings.


Developing the Seven Wisdoms

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1. Request, “Please grant great (extensive) wisdom, which has no resistance to understanding the meaning of Buddha’s extensive scriptures.”

(Great extensive wisdom can memorize and understand many things quickly.

It also knows the entire meaning of sutra and tantra and is able to see the conventional and ultimate natures of all universal phenomena without restriction.)

From the dhih and mantra syllables, red-yellow lightrays radiate in all directions. (Optional: The lightrays carry offerings, as in the previous visualization, to all the Buddhas and bodhisattvas.)

The lightrays then invoke all their wisdom and realizations in the form of countless youth Manjushris.

Some are as large as mountains, others as small as sesame seeds, and they pervade all of space.

All these billions of Manjushris absorb into you through the pores of your body, uniting with you like snow falling into the ocean.

Your entire body and nervous system become the nature of clean clear wisdom light that destroys all physical diseases and hindrances to developing great extensive wisdom.

Feel that you have generated great extensive wisdom through concentrating on Manjushri’s body.

Much powerful light, like billions of suns, radiates from the dhih and mantra syllables at your heart, going out through all the pores of your body and touching all universal sentient beings who are immediately released from their ignorance and become Manjushri.

(Do this visualization also after developing each of the wisdoms below.)


2. Request, “Please inspire (bless) me to generate clear wisdom, which can understand the subtle and difficult points of the Dharma without confusion.”

(Clear wisdom understands, for example, the detailed and subtle points of emptiness and dependent arising.)

The visualization is the same as above, only the wisdom and realizations of all the Buddhas and bodhisattvas are invoked in the form of the syllables of Manjushri’s mantra, om ah ra pa tsa na dhih, as well as the Sanskrit vowels and consonants.

Millions of these dissolve into you, and you generate clear wisdom through concentrating on the mantra.

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3. Request, “Please inspire (bless) me to generate quick wisdom which quickly cuts off all ignorance, wrong conceptions, and doubt.”

Visualize as above, only substitute Manjushri’s seed-syllable dhih as well as om ah hum, and feel that you have generated quick wisdom through concentrating on the syllable dhih.

4. Request, “Please inspire (bless) me to generate profound wisdom, which understands the meaning of the scriptures in a profound, limitless way.” (Profound wisdom sees many different aspects and meanings, and can explain them in a few words or in many different ways.)

Visualize as above, only substitute Manjushri’s implements—swords and texts—and feel that you have generated profound wisdom through concentrating on Manjushri’s hand implements.

5. Request, “Please inspire (bless) me to generate the wisdom of explaining or teaching the Dharma, which can perfectly explain the definite, correct understanding of all the words and meanings of the scriptures.”

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Visualize as above, only substitute Perfection of Wisdom texts, and feel that you have generated the wisdom of explaining the Dharma through concentrating on Manjushri’s symbol, the Perfection of Wisdom sutras.

6. Request, “Please inspire (bless) me to generate the wisdom of debate, which courageously refutes the damaging words that express wrong ideas and misconceptions.”

Visualize as above, substituting wheels of swords, and feel that you have generated the wisdom of debate through concentrating on Manjushri’s symbol, the wheel of wisdom swords.

7. Request, “Please inspire (bless) me to generate the wisdom of composition, which uses perfect grammar and words and has the meaning of clear wisdom that gives joy to the minds of all sentient beings.”

Visualize as above, substituting Perfection of Wisdom sutras and wheels of swords, and feel that you have generated the wisdom of composition through concentrating on Manjushri’s symbol, the wheel of wisdom swords and Perfection of Wisdom sutra.

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Copyright by Thubten Chodron
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